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The Universe According to Patrick MooreThe Universe According to Patrick Moore

The Universe According to Patrick Moore

The Universe According to Patrick Moore

Brought together for the first time, The Universe According to Patrick Moore is the definitive collection of Sir Patrick Moore’s columns for BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Britain’s preeminent amateur astronomer recounts a lifetime of looking up: his tales from filming The Sky at Night TV show, interviews with the pioneers he met along the way, plus his opinions on space science, the search for life and the future.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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Collecting the opinion pieces of Sir Patrick Moore into a single anthology has proven to be an emotional trip down memory lane; a sharp reminder, to paraphrase Brian May, that while there will never be another Patrick Moore, we were lucky to have one at all. Published monthly from the inaugural issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine onwards, Patrick’s Universe According to... columns abound in both the eccentric wit and keen insight that inspired so many of us to look up at the night sky in the first place.This special edition represents the definitive collection of those columns. Though Patrick had free rein as to what he wrote about, he always came back to certain themes, and it’s around these we’ve based this volume. Our journey starts with the…

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the man behind the monocle

Patrick presented The Sky at Night for 55 years, missing only one episode in this timePatrick Moore did more than anyone in history to get people interested in the stars. As the face of The Sky at Night, he introduced millions to amateur astronomy and the wonders of the night sky and, in the process, set a record that will never be beaten. Having been broadcast continuously on BBC television since 1957, The Sky at Night is the longest running programme to have kept the same presenter.Thanks to his passion for astronomy, ruffled appearance and slightly eccentric manner, Patrick’s persona made him a celebrity among the general public and rich fodder for TV impersonations (he claimed Mike Yarwood’s take was the best). A household name in the UK, where he…

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patrick on… the moon

Where else could we possibly start than with the Moon, the first celestial object Patrick glimpsed through a telescope and the one that would bring him fame in the field of amateur astronomy? We’ll see how Patrick first came to explore our close companion, his trick for learning his way around its craters and valleys, how his theories about his favoured celestial object changed over the course of his life and why, even now, we need to keep sending missions to probe its secrets. ■…

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once a moon man, always a moon man

Published April 2009I had my first telescopic view of the Moon when I was seven years old. A family friend, Major AE Levin, had his observatory in Selsey and I went there (long before I came to live there myself) to use his 6-inch refractor. The Moon was our first target; I looked through the eyepiece and saw the mountains, the craters and the valleys, obviously without understanding what they really were. I was fascinated, and I remember saying, “When I grow up I’m going to study the Moon.” I did.Of course, things were different in 1930. We knew much less about the Moon than we do now; it was thought that the atmosphere might be substantial enough for thin clouds to form and that a certain amount of volcanic…

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the first men round the moon

(NASA X 6, ISTOCK)Published December 2008Where were you on Christmas Eve 1968? Most people will no doubt say “At home”; after all, Christmas is essentially a family occasion. I was not: I was in Studio 7 at the BBC Television Centre, broadcasting during one of the most exciting nights of my career. For the first time, men were preparing to fly around the Moon.The plan to send astronauts on a lunar journey had been announced by US President John F Kennedy in 1961. Many critics regarded it as premature, since the Space Age dated back only to 1957, with the launch of Sputnik 1, but political considerations were very much to the fore and the USSR had made no secret of its ambitions. Having been beaten in the first race,…

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what we’ve learnt since apollo 11

Buzz Aldrin prepares to step onto the Sea of Tranquility; prior to Apollo 11, some scientists feared any landing craft would sink into the Moon’s mariaPublished July 2009It has been many years since Neil Armstrong took his “one small step”. In 1972 Gene Cernan took what is – so far – the “last small step” when he re-entered the module of Apollo 17 as he and Harrison Schmidt prepared to return home. During those intervening years our knowledge of the Moon increased beyond all expectations, and many problems were solved. Not all our questions were answered, however; we’re still not sure how the Moon was formed, and though the ‘giant impact’ theory is popular, it is not conclusive.“I was often right, though on one important issue I was devastatingly wrong”This…